Top Trends in Fashion Apparel Sizes
It always made sense to service the majority of people which in the fashion industry meant the average sizes . This was always so, as it was costly to produce on an assembly line or factory single units and today this fact still holds true. Moreover, not only the cost is higher but the market is smaller. So on both ends it never made sense to produce plus size or petite size clothing if there wasn't a critical mass of people to support its sales.
Today however, we see the trend reversed as niche markets have flourished while in tandem, modern production has become more efficient to cater to smaller audiences. Business owners looking to differentiate in otherwise flooded markets where competitors existed at the turn of every corner, began to look in serving the fringe sizes where less competition existed. Plus and petite size clothing were the surfacing markets. You see, previously it was a question of style , color, season and look that until today is the key differentiation in store brands and sales. But none of these categories answered for the shortage of apparel options for petite and plus size women or men for that matter.
Interestingly enough there are two major distinctions in these two fringe size markets and for good reason. These reasons are not really thought of and so you'll be surprised to hear it. The plus size of the equation is the trend of fast food and indulgence in American society. This coupled with modern facilities that successfully reduce physical activity has essentially trended the US population to being heavier. The National Center for Disease Control & Prevention published in 2020 here are the facts. From 1999–2000 through 2017–2018, the prevalence of obesity increased from 30.5% to 42.4%, and the prevalence of severe obesity increased from 4.7% to 9.2%.
Clearly America's abundance of delicacies and comforts had a corresponding consequence to it's wealth. Moreover, in our plus motif apparel outlet, we found not only has the market increased in size but another interesting trend has emerged. The age range of which larger clothing was befitting also expanded. What was perhaps twenty plus to fifty five in age has now grown from as early as even twelve and fourteen years of age to over sixty.
For the petite market we noticed a marked difference. The average height of an American woman is roughly 163 cm (5 ft 4 in) (5'4"), with a standard deviation of roughly 10 cm (3.9 in). Thus, 40% of all American women are 160 cm (5 ft 3 in) or shorter () and roughly one-quarter (25%) are 155 cm (5 ft 1 in) or shorter. That being said, the petite fashion isn't a small market anymore. Couple this statistic with the fact that women at large are becoming larger, the petite size range has expanded.
Yet, in the UK and throughout much of Europe and Australasia, the average height varies from 152 cm (5 ft 0 in) to 168 cm (5 ft 6 in). So we see the Scandinavian and European populations tend to be a larger pool of petite sizes. For this US apparel business online this meant good news as the global eCommerce phenomena grows we now have a very large market the retailers can cater worldwide for the petite woman. It must be noted here, that the young have gained huge exposure online to fashion and style catapulting their maturity for fashion wear.
It isn't hard to see that a much younger woman previously called a "girl" would now savor the styles of a petite women's fashion piece. These adolescents represent a huge market that was otherwise extinct prior to the advent of the internet and it's proliferated Facebook, Whats app and Instagram debut. Adolescents grow, and often not petite at all, but they now represent a hefty portion of the petite fashion market of women's apparel, adding to the flourishing production of this market.
Much more can be said of the trends emerging in these fringe size markets, but suffice it to say, they may no longer be fringe anymore.